It was bound to happen. There is no way I was going to get away with painting nine rooms (if you count the hall as a room) without making a fatal paint choice error.
I’m painting the living room this week (I’m on vacation, and we are having a housewarming party soon, so I’m anxious to get the public rooms finished.) I had originally thought that I might paint this room yellow, but the room has a problem. Problem #1 is that it is a sort of loft area, overlooking the stairwell and flowing into the upstairs hall, so whatever I use has to work in several areas. Problem #2 is that when the previous owners opened up this room they built a new stairwell… out of yellow pine (the rest of the house is a mix of red oak and tiger oak.) The yellow pine is crazy orangey, and any sort of warm shade tends to emphasize the orange, and the fact that it does not even match the rest of the stairwell.
I had decided on a sage green, which I thought would look nice with my red sofa and the blue fireplace, and which wouldn’t be overwhelming carried into the hall. I only got as far as the window before I knew I hated it, but I continued on for another wall to make sure. Yup… instead of the pretty sage on the card, this color looked like a gray-ish mint on the walls.
This picture actually just looks gray, but trust me that the mint was there. It’s actually a nice color, but in my opinion it would look better with white trim. It really gave the room a cold feel, which wasn’t what I wanted for our private living area.
I was sad because I really do love this color, but it isn’t for our home.
I decided to give the leftovers to my Mom, who is repainting her house to sell it, and started going through the huge pile of samples I have amassed, looking for a color that might work.
I threw a few up on the wall:
Yup, I still don’t like yellow. But that blue… it had possibilities, although it looks a little bland in this photo. It’s from the Sherwin Williams Arts and Crafts Collection. The color is “Bunglehouse Blue.” I decided to go with my instincts, so I went with the blue, which happens to go well with the fireplace.
Perfect! The darker color makes the wood glow, and this blue contains enough green to avoid feeling cold with the northern light. I need to learn to go with my instincts – I knew that light colors didn’t look great with our woodwork, but I was worried about the house being a cave. Strangely enough, dark colors seem to work better with the dark trim. I think it has to do with the amount of contrast.
While I was painting I discovered what color the room was painted before the owners painted to sell last year – ballerina pink. Wow… I really cannot imagine thinking that was a good idea, but then these are the same people who repainted to sell using only mint green and butter yellow, and without using any drop cloths on the wood floors.
I had been considering using more muted colors for the bedrooms upstairs (I hope to get to those labor day weekend) but I have changed my mind based on this experience.
These are the colors I picked up today to think about for our bedroom (yes, I know I’m indecisive, you are all thinking “Didn’t she already go through this?”) I like the two on the far left, Martha Stewart Terrarium and Ralph Lauren Alpine Pool.
The guest room will actually be next, and I am deciding between a Martha color called “chalkboard green” and an eddie bauer color called “bordeaux.” We will not talk about how many swatches are currently on the walls. I clearly have a paint problem.
Tomorrow this room will get a second coat (I am so pleased with the coverage of this paint, Sherwin Williams Cashmere) and then I will have a living room again. I have hardly been able to knit, and I am so close to being finished with Honey. Last summer I took over a month to complete the Nantucket Jacket because of the wedding, and this summer I am taking ages to finish anything because of the house – it must be something about july and august! I cannot wait for colder weather…